First Look: This is what it's actually like to stay at The St. Regis Red Sea Resort

First Look: This is what it's actually like to stay at The St. Regis Red Sea Resort

Join us as we visit The St. Regis Red Sea Resort; once a captivating concept and now a stunning reality, this indulgent escape promises guests unparalleled island living during their stay
06 March 24
The St Regis Red Sea

As soon as visitors step into The St. Regis Red Sea Resort on Ummahat Island, it is immediately apparent that they are in for top-notch, luxury experience.

Of course, there is the stunning setting — which garnered a flood of Instagram messages after I snapped a shot and pressed post to my Stories — that had many speculating I was in the Maldives.

Besides its natural beauty and the many shades of blue bursting from the sea and sky, we delve into all that has elevated The St. Regis Red Sea Resort into one of Saudi’s burgeoning hospitality landmarks. 

Getting to the Resort 

The hotel’s easily accessible location is definitely a plus, with two flights a week from Riyadh and Jeddah to the Red Sea International Airport, departing on Thursdays and returning on Saturdays.

For weekday visits, a plane to Yanbu Airport, approximately three hours away from the Turtle Bay Hotel in Umluj, is the way to go, as this resort serves as the starting point for a luxury yacht journey to The St. Regis Red Sea Resort.

If you’re lucky, you might experience a seaplane, and arrive to The St. Regis Red Sea Resort by landing on the waters of the Red Sea. Whether you choose to marvel at the resort and the emerald shades of the sea from the sky or enjoy your approach onboard a deluxe yacht, each option offers its own allure. 

First Impressions

They say first impressions are key, and The St. Regis Red Sea Resort certainly delivered.

Upon our arrival, we were warmly received by the resort’s manager, Andrea Colla, and his team. And then, in typical St. Regis fashion, our private butler whisked us away to our villa in a golf cart. Throughout our time at the resort, the staff made us feel welcome with their dedicated efforts to ensure our stay and experiences overall were enjoyable and comfortable.  

Inside the Ultra-Luxe Villas

During our stay, The St. Regis Red Sea Resort continued to exceed all our expectations. We stayed in one of the resort's beachfront villas, it featured two bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and dressing room. It also had spacious lounge area, equipped with all modern amenities and essentials.

However, what truly set it apart, was the villa's private pool and direct access to the beach.  

Guests can enjoy views of the pool, white sands and expansive sea-scape – from every room – whether lounging in bed or relaxing on the sofa, your glance is never too far from the absolute, natural perfection of the surrounds.

In addition, each villa offers outdoor seating on the sun deck, allowing guests to soak up the sunshine and marvel at the beautiful vistas. The innovative design ensures complete privacy without visual barriers or walls separating neighbouring villas, while advanced technology allows for seamless control of lighting and curtains at the touch of a button. 

Sustainable Footprints

Renowned designer Kristina Zanic is behind the masterfully crafted villas at The St. Regis Red Sea Resort, which prioritised sustainability standards and utilising natural materials. Embracing the barefoot luxury concept, The St. Regis Red Sea Resort as a whole, seamlessly embraces its natural surroundings, drawing inspiration from wind and the waved movement of the sand and sea formations, elements used to create an environment of calm and comfort.

Similarly, the Coral Villas are designed to harmonise with marine life, providing residents with a unique opportunity to observe dolphins, sea turtles, and the colourful Red Sea fish species – all while maintaining the highest standards of luxury, sustainability, and using natural construction materials. 

All in all, the resort offers 90 villas of varying sizes and configurations. From one or two-bedroom beachfront villas to those overwater ones perched above sea level, each option ensures a memorable and luxurious stay. There is also the Astor Villa, boasting 229sq m and three bedrooms with full facilities. Arguably the pinnacle of The St. Regis Red Sea Resort, is the Presidential Dune Villa which stands alone, spanning 349sq m and featuring four spacious bedrooms. 

Endless Dining Options 

The St. Regis Red Sea Resort leaves no stone unturned in its culinary offerings, boasting a plethora of international options from its finest fine-dining restaurants. All its restaurants adhere to a sustainability policy, meticulously selecting ingredients and striving for zero waste in food consumption. Whether you're craving out-of-the-ordinary flavours or classic dishes prepared to perfection, you'll find an array of choices here. 

Gishiki 45  

If you're a Japanese wagyu enthusiast like myself, or simply appreciate Asian cuisine, Gishiki 45 is a must-visit. From delicious noodles and fresh vegetables to succulent meat dishes, seafood, and sushi favourites, my experience was nothing short of exceptional. Gishiki 45 embodies the Japanese izakaya art of hospitality, akin to the convivial atmosphere found in Irish pubs, where patrons can select their favourite mocktails and dishes in a comfortable setting.  


At this crown jewel of St. Regis dining, guests are treated to an unparalleled experience. Floating above the sea in a charming location inspired by the shape of a shell, this establishment offers a carefully curated menu. The chef's tasting menu features seven exquisite dishes – three appetisers, three main courses, and a dessert. Guests are taken on a culinary journey as the chef presents each dish personally, offering detailed explanations of the flavours, spices, and cooking techniques used. From tender oxtail meat to premium Japanese wagyu, Tilina showcases a diverse range of exceptional dishes.  

The Beach Club 

If we had to suggest just one way to extend your beach or poolside experience at The St. Regis Red Sea Resort, it would be with a visit to The Beach Club. With outdoor seating offering excellent views of the crystal clear waters, this venue provides the ideal setting to relax and unwind in style, and its menu features a selection of crowd pleasers – from pizzas to burgers. 


The largest dining venue at the resort, Nesma, can accommodate up to 100 guests at once. Offering Arabic cuisine with an international flair, this restaurant sets itself apart with its commitment to the highest standards of hospitality. To start, guests are treated to two dishes: Hummus Nesma and a refreshing labneh salad with cucumber. Each dish is a testament to culinary excellence, and the addition of fresh bread straight from the oven elevates the entire dining experience. 

"At Nesma, we showcase a variety of Saudi and Arabic dishes, enhanced with distinctive international flavours to create innovative twists on familiar favourites," explains Saudi Chef Mohammed Nazmi. His extensive experience in international hotels shines through in his creation of two standout dishes: a savoury meat kebab infused with thyme, and a delectable kofta dish complemented by a delightful tahini sauce.  

The St. Regis Bar 

Each St. Regis bar features a unique and striking artistic painting, which becomes a defining feature of the establishment.

At The St. Regis Red Sea Resort, this painting tells a legendary story inspired by the region – a girl fleeing her arranged marriage to celebrate with mermaids in the Blue Hole area of the sea. 

Aside from its artwork, the bar is renowned for its mocktails and shisha offerings. During our visit, the bartender treated us to a live demonstration of the Sabrage method – an impressive technique famously employed by the French leader Napoleon Bonaparte to open bottles during battles.

We were then treated to a bottle of non-alcoholic French champagne, opened in true Bonaparte style. We also tried the Bloody Mary mocktail – tomato juice infused with spices for a hot and robust flavour profile. 

A Haven of Serenity

At The St. Regis Red Sea Resort, you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in tranquility. The island's natural surroundings, coupled with the refreshing breezes, and the positive energy emanating from the sea and sand, offer a unique connection with nature.

For an extra dose of relaxation, look no further than The St. Regis Spa. 

Upon arrival, we were greeted with a cold hibiscus drink and introduced to the spa's different services. Opting for the Swedish massage, we indulged in a 90-minute session that melted away the stresses of work life. Afterwards, we were invited to the relaxation area, where we enjoyed some jasmine tea – a spa signature.  

For those looking for a more invigorating experience, we recommend the Thai massage, known for stimulating blood circulation and providing renewed energy – ideal for those who have spent the day enjoying the incredible selection of water activities available at the resort. 

Into the Red Sea 

With its diverse marine ecosystem teeming with fascinating creatures, the Red Sea is a global destination for diving enthusiasts, ideal for discovering beautiful aquatic life and colourful coral reefs. At The St. Regis Red Sea Resort, guests can enjoy a myriad of water sports adventures through the WAMA water sports centre.

From eco-friendly activities like e-boarding and windsurfing to rowing in a glass-bottom boat for an immersive experience of the sea's depths, there's something for everyone. Dive deep or snorkel to uncover the breathtaking beauty of the location’s underwater life. It's worth noting that all these activities prioritise environmental sustainability, eschewing harmful fossil fuels for a greener approach. 

The Whole Package

A visit to The St. Regis Red Sea Resort promises an unforgettable journey.

Photography enthusiasts (both professional and the Instagram obsessed) are guaranteed to capture stunning shots, while those seeking ultimate relaxation will discover their haven. For lovers of beach life and water adventures, the resort exceeds expectations, offering unparalleled hospitality amidst a setting that truly has it all.